SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Summer is synonymous with backyard barbecues and picnics, but the latest restrictions on dining outside leave many of us wondering if summer’s going to roll in fall without any socializing outside.
So while public health officials shut down all outdoor dining and tell us to stay home, our health expert, Karen Owoc, is here to tell us if it’s safe to gather outdoors.
The Science Has Not Changed
- Your risk of contracting the coronavirus is significantly lower outdoors than indoors.
- A Japanese study of 100 cases found the odds of contracting COVID-19 are nearly 20 times higher indoors than outdoors.
- The wind disperses the droplets, so the viral load is very low.
- Sunlight (UV rays) can also kill the virus.
Tips to Socialize Safely Outside
People need social interaction — it’s basic human behavior. It’s safest to socialize when the test positivity is 5% or lower. (Reduces your risk of inviting an infected person to your gathering.)
1. Limit the Number of Guests
- Socializing with one household is safer than mixing multiple households.
- Reduces risk of exposure to an infected person.
- Easier to practice social distancing.
- Large groups can affect overall spatial awareness.
2. BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair
3. Keep Your Distance
4. Keep the Music Volume Low
- When music is loud, people have to shout which expels more droplets.
- Also, more people means it’s going to get loud. When it’s loud, people shout.
5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
6. Use Separate Serving Utensils
- Don’t share food or utensils.
7. Individually Wrap Eating Utensils
8. Practice Safe Food Handling
- Although the virus is not transmitted through food, wear mask and gloves when preparing food.
9. Stay Vigilant and Aware.
- Being outside doesn’t make it safe. Socializing outside means WITH distancing.
The Takeaway: Outside gatherings can be safe if you want to spend time with friends and family — it’s HOW you gather outside that’s going to keep your safe.
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